Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Remarks (with commentary!)

I couldn’t help but notice obvious contradictions in the President’s remarks as I read them earlier today. His remarks, which can be found at the White House website are in quotes (with my own emphasis), and my commentary is underneath (or simply visualized by photo).

We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can’t dictate our response to every challenge we face.

He contradicts himself about 4 sentences later…

… the majority of great reformers in American history did their work not just because it was sound policy, or they had done good analysis, or understood how to exercise good politics, but because their faith and their values dictated it, and called for bold action — sometimes in the face of indifference, sometimes in the face of resistance.

We can’t leave our values at the door.  If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union.

And yet this is EXACTLY what the President is asking US Catholics to do with the HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions to violate the very principles they were founded on, and the very values and consciences of those who run and work for these institutions by forcing them to pay for ‘health’ coverage which is morally wrong. He wants Catholic hospitals to ‘leave their values’ at the door and provide abortions, cover such disgusting murderous procedures, and cover contraceptives (the use of which has led our society to embrace heinous practices (like the slaughter of children in the wombs of their mothers as legal). All of which the Catholic Church and institutions run by the Church greatly object to precisely because of her values and religious beliefs…

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”

Uhh… Our Lord wasn’t talking about money… (and how many times is this now that Obama has placed himself in the position of Jesus???  Instead of it being Jesus–the Just Judge–requiring [x] of said person, Obama himself is going to tell you how much you’ve been given and how much is thus ‘required’ of you– through the eyes of the government. What a way to twist the words of Sacred Scripture!)

 But part of that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper; that as a country, we rise and fall together.

It’s also about the biblical call to care for the least of these –- for the poor; for those at the margins of our society.
To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
Treating others as you want to be treated.
Living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper.  Caring for the poor and those in need.
how we ensure opportunity for every child,

Obama says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves"

I’m more than certain that these “unwanted children” who are murdered through abortions are truly the “least of these” in our society, they are the poorest, and they are the marginalized. They cannot speak for themselves, they are destitute and their God-given inalienable rights have been ignored by the government of the United States with the full support of President Obama. He is his brother’s keeper–except for those in the womb. We must ensure opportunity for every child–unless they’ve yet to be born.

Does he even think before he writes his speeches (or I guess I should be asking if his writers think things through before allowing him to speak such contradictions openly!)?!

When does a person become a person?

When does a person become a person?

It seems like a silly question, yet the entire abortion debate hinges on this. Abortion is permitted because in the United States(and elsewhere) a human being is not considered a person until birth. Legally. (Of course, we must also recognize and remember that this is the same country whose courts defined black persons as property (Dred Scott v. Sanford) until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the Slaughter-house cases)

But unfortunately even many intelligent people (too many) accept this idea that personhood begins at birth without question. Without looking at the issue from a reasoned, scientific perspective and that’s a problem.

So, I invite every person to consider these questions: What makes a person a person? When does a person become a person?

Our constitution grants citizenship (legal personhood) at birth. Is this a scientific truth? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it needs amending—desperately, because innocent lives hang in the balance.

What is it about birth that could possibly bestow personhood on another? What is the fundamental change that takes place in that instant one moves from a fetus to an infant that transforms one into a person?

Is it the air? Does the air contain magical effects that bestow personhood the moment one touches it? No, this cannot be logical since animals and insects and rocks are all touching the air and they are not persons. Thus, it is not the air. Nor is it something else about the environment into which one enters upon birth, changing your environment does not change who you are.

Is it a level of self-awareness? Does birth suddenly grant one the ability to be self-aware? No, this is neither logical since no one remembers their infancy with a clear constancy of “I” (persons claiming to remember ‘bright lights’ etc. are not demonstrating a level of self-awareness), much less the instant of their birth. Furthermore, a two-year old has a lesser level of self-awareness than a twelve-year old, or a twenty-year old. Does personhood admit of degrees? No. Not even legally. It either is a person, or it is not; there is no half-person. Also, there are legal adults with a very low level of self-awareness, if at all, due to mental conditions. Plus, according to some studies done in fetal psychology (who’d have ever thought there’d be such a thing!) fetuses in the third trimester are very similar to newborn infants, and infants apparently are able to retain some sort of memories of being in the womb—preferring the sound of mom’s voice, the voice of relatives or anyone else who was frequently around when they were in the womb, preferring to hear the same stories/music they heard while in the womb, etc. Thus, self-awareness cannot make one a person.

Is it dependency? Does birth make one completely independent? No. The baby is still reliant on the mother (or someone) to feed him, change his diaper, etc. –his very life still depends upon someone else. Toddlers and children are still pretty dependent too. For that matter, so are most adults! Dependency, then, cannot be the criteria for personhood either.

What else could it be?

Could it be size? Does a baby grow a bit bigger the second he emerges from the birth canal? No… in fact, most babies usually even drop their weight after birth before gaining the pounds. Besides, once we start talking size, we’d end up with degrees again since we (typically) grow bigger as we get older. Personhood cannot admit of degrees.

So then, perhaps some people are willing to grant now that a fetus is at least a person. But what about an embryo (or a zygote)? Surely I can’t be expecting everyone to grant personal status to “a bunch of cells”? …Or can I? According to our current study of medicine, from the moment of conception the zygote/embryo has everything it needs to live and grow. Pregnancy is simply a matter of growth and development. An embryo has measurable brain waves at about 43 days after conception. Foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are laid after a mere 20 days of existence. The embryo posses a beating heart after about 24 days (though you can’t hear it on a Doppler until about the second trimester)… that “bunch of cells” truly does have amazing capabilities: that zygote needs nothing added to it to develop into a complete human body—compete with personhood! And it possessed all of this, as our medical science admits, from the moment of conception.

Our science will admit it, why won’t our courts?

I don’t support Race for the Cure…

… but I do support authentic breast cancer research!

I do not support “Race for the Cure” because I do not support the Susan G. Komen foundation. I do not support the Susan G. Komen foundation because they give to/support Planned [Barren]hood. Planned [Barren]hood is the nation’s largest provider (/enforcer) of abortions. Abortion is statistically relevant to the increased risk for breast cancer. Thus, I don’t support any organization or foundation that supports actions that increase the problem for which they are supposedly trying to find a cure.

http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm

“Recently, we found that a first-trimester abortion, whether spontaneous or induced, before the first full-term pregnancy is actually associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer.”  [Henderson, B.E., Ross R., Berstein, L.; “Estrogens as a cause of human cancer,” The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award Lecture, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California: Cancer Res 48:246-253, 1988]

Dr. Janet Daling, an abortion supporter, and her colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center were commissioned by the National Cancer Institute to conduct a study to determine if induced abortion raises breast cancer risk.  The study found that, “among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.”

The American Cancer Society has stated in its fact sheet that abortion “may be associated with increased breast cancer risk.”  [American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures — 1996, at 12 (1996)]    

Earth Day 2010… what REALLY matters

Catholic Vote’s newest ad campaign for Earth Day 2010 (today) is great. Very creative. This is what we need to get people thinking:

… and I’m all for making people think.

Don’t get me wrong, Fr. Frank Pavone at Priests for Life has a point when he says that, “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion“. But those graphic images are best left for adults/older children in an appropriate setting. Advertisements  that younger children might see should preserve their innocence and instead provoke thought and/or celebrate life in a positive way. Associating abortion with pictures of cute newborns/young children (i.e., a “fetus” is a scientific name for a baby in the womb) is just as effective as showing an adult/mature child the gruesome reality of abortion. Either way, the message [that abortion is the murder of a baby] comes across– but in an age appropriate manner.